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Old 03.08.2011, 14:46
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Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

Hey,

Not sure how to get over this homesickness.....only been in Zurich 1 month and already finding it hard.

My partner is Swiss and naturally fits in well. I on the other hand struggle with the language, that in turn makes me rely on my partner heavily which is making me crazy.

I am learning high German but the Swiss German is so hard to understand!!! Just ordering a coffee is a struggle and every wall I hit is a dent in my self esteem.

Any ideas on how to get over this homesickness???
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  #2  
Old 03.08.2011, 14:51
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

It will get easier.
Just keep repeating to yourself ' it will get easier'
BUT it WILL get easier.
You've ordered a coffee. It can't get worse than that.
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Old 03.08.2011, 14:53
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

ah you will always be homesick. a holiday is now going back to your homecountry and everything seems to be fantastic there....except when you are there to long. just learn a bit of the basics and go wonder around.
the integration period is well over 6 months. and then after 2-3 years it starts all over again....

im not homesick but longing to move somewhere different again(havent lived home (belgium) in 10 years now

where are you from?
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Old 03.08.2011, 14:53
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

I might have some ideas
I put myself in your shoes and started thinking what I did when I first arrived in CH:
- Start making friends (a lot of them, use English Forum, Glocals, internations etc.) Since you will meet a lot of expats, you will only need English so to speak.
- Join the clubs, gyms, activities by the help of these communities. These range from hiking to skiing, going to disco together..whatever
- If you are working it should be even more easier.

Generally we feel homesick because we miss our friends, family there; I don't think you just miss a piece of land, it's the people on that land that makes it "HOME" for you. You cannot replace your parents or family, but you can create your own comfort zone with your new friends.
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Old 03.08.2011, 14:55
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

It takes time. You may never get over the homesickness, but things will get better. (maybe).
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Old 03.08.2011, 14:57
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

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Hey,

Not sure how to get over this homesickness.....only been in Zurich 1 month and already finding it hard.

My partner is Swiss and naturally fits in well. I on the other hand struggle with the language, that in turn makes me rely on my partner heavily which is making me crazy.

I am learning high German but the Swiss German is so hard to understand!!! Just ordering a coffee is a struggle and every wall I hit is a dent in my self esteem.

Any ideas on how to get over this homesickness???

RELAX !!!

What you are feeling is completely normal.


I've had this conversation many times and the stories are always......similar.


However, for me, the first month here = AWESOME

Months 2&3 = Difficult

Months 6 - 12 = Mostly hated it and regretted everything

cue *epiphany"

From here it was make or break, and I made very clear notes about what truely troubled me.

Then listed them as things I could do something about, and those I couldn't.

Further remove from the list (that you can't do anything about) anything that is a contrast to home...... You ain't in Kansas anymore Toto
The moment you stop comparing here to home, everything gets easier.

Focus on what you can control and just keep stepping forward.... it will get better..... then it gets AWESOME.

2 years later my German is still crap, so don't let it bug you.... just keep practicing.

Good luck

(and yeah, try new things on your own. Don't let things stress you out, or you'll take it out on your partner, and then EVERYTHING will go pair shaped.)
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Old 03.08.2011, 14:59
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

Things will get better, I am being forced to learn French in my new job and it means I should feel more integrated faster so I sympathise completely with the language barrier, just stay positive and enjoy all the good stuff the country has to offer, the feeling of belonging will come...and you can always visit home...
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Old 03.08.2011, 15:01
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

I notice in your profile that you like walking the dogs. Dogs like kids are an opener to making new friends.
I remember feeling like you and I just got out there and joined groups and even if I was in the supermarket and heard an english voice, that was enough to start a chat.
It WILL get better and of course you have EF so when you are down sign in and try to attend some of the social events
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Old 03.08.2011, 15:01
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

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ah you will always be homesick. a holiday is now going back to your homecountry and everything seems to be fantastic there....except when you are there to long. just learn a bit of the basics and go wonder around.
the integration period is well over 6 months. and then after 2-3 years it starts all over again....

im not homesick but longing to move somewhere different again(havent lived home (belgium) in 10 years now

where are you from?
Oh! Now you've made me homesick. Homesick for Belgium and it isn't even my country.
I lived in Brussels for years and would dearly love to go back.
Wonderful country.
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  #10  
Old 03.08.2011, 15:02
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

Hi there,darkhorsedrea!

I went through something similar 7 years ago when I gave up on everything to be able to join my boyfriend in Germany. I left my home country, all my friends and family, my mother tongue, my studies and sure work. I landed in Dresden with basically my suitcase and a youthful hope for a brighter future.

I can tell you right now it is difficult and will stay difficult for a while. You will cling to your partner a lot, which sometimes will make you both angry: total dependency is difficult. Though I was good in languages, I hate the German language, so I had that added problem - learning something I hate. I still have problems forgiving myself for not being able to pronounce myself properly, and it's been over 4 years since I started learning. The beauty of landscape will fade somewhat in time and you will find yourself dreaming of the old home country.

The trick? Be stubborn. Don't give up. Fight your way through German like your life depends on it. Go out and find new people - this, my friend, is your biggest asset: new friends. They will be the ones that make you forget how homesick you are, and colour once again the sad grey landscape you meanwhile painted of your new country. Get someone who maybe speaks your mother tongue to release some language frustration. Go out without your partner to enjoy being able to be independent.

In no time you will find that youthful hope again, enjoy your stay, but the homesick will always be there: but it won't be painful anymore. Just a soft warm fuzzy feeling that makes you happy to make holidays back in the old place.
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Old 03.08.2011, 15:03
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

I've only been here a few months and it's been an adjustment. I suggest you try to meet other expats in your area. One of the things I miss most from home is my social life, having friends and family near. Once you start creating a social life here, it gets easier.
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Old 03.08.2011, 15:03
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

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Hey,

Not sure how to get over this homesickness.....only been in Zurich 1 month and already finding it hard.

My partner is Swiss and naturally fits in well. I on the other hand struggle with the language, that in turn makes me rely on my partner heavily which is making me crazy.

I am learning high German but the Swiss German is so hard to understand!!! Just ordering a coffee is a struggle and every wall I hit is a dent in my self esteem.

Any ideas on how to get over this homesickness???
You are always welcome to our "German Conversation Group" on Wednesdays. It's good to make friends and will help you with conversational german a bit. See the social events calendar and join a few events.
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Old 03.08.2011, 15:07
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best...
And...always look on the bright side of life...
Always look on the light side of life...




And also head down to the Viadukt on Thursday evenings. That'll make you forget more than just your worries.
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Old 03.08.2011, 16:53
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

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I might have some ideas
I put myself in your shoes and started thinking what I did when I first arrived in CH:
- Start making friends (a lot of them, use English Forum, Glocals, internations etc.) Since you will meet a lot of expats, you will only need English so to speak.
- Join the clubs, gyms, activities by the help of these communities. These range from hiking to skiing, going to disco together..whatever
- If you are working it should be even more easier.

Generally we feel homesick because we miss our friends, family there; I don't think you just miss a piece of land, it's the people on that land that makes it "HOME" for you. You cannot replace your parents or family, but you can create your own comfort zone with your new friends.
I think it is also easy for us to blame EVERYTHING on being in our new country.
So if I could add just an extra bit of advice it would be to remember that sometimes a bad day is just a bad day, and those can happen no matter where you live.
Get together with some people from your German course. Make it a point to meet once a week to speak only German. Invite others. They can invite others. Before you know it your "german speaking" circle has grown. You may not be able to answer each others grammar questions, but it can give you a little boost in your confidence when trying to communicate with others in German.
Since your husband speaks German, try appointing a certain time of day when you only speak German together. Even if you don't understand things right away, it may help tune your ear to the language.

I don't think you ever get over homesickness 100%. But it does get easier! You even learn to appreciate aspects of what you have here, as opposed to there. And all of those things you miss, seem all the sweeter when you finally visit. (Caution: the rose colored glasses come off after 2 weeks "home." You start to remember all the things your loved ones do to drive you crazy!)

Good luck here in CH.
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Old 03.08.2011, 16:57
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

Oh, it does happen to almost everyone.

German is quite a frustrating language, meaning it DOES take a long time to learn, and you will have those "oh, I haven't learnt anything" moments over and over again. Still, "the only way out is through" therefore all you have to do is continue learning and practicing as much as you can (and yes, you will make a fool out of yourself...we all do all the time!).
You're lucky to live in a city which is very international compared to other parts of Switzerland, people are used to foreigners and will be more tolerant with you making mistakes; there's even a big chance that they're foreigners themselves (or a quarter..., one half...). Being partner of a German speaker, I can only tell you how much of a resource that is: don't feel bad for relying on your partner, instead ask for help, for a correction you when you're wrong, for a double-check of what you understood, and engage in simple daily conversations. This helps more than you can imagine.

And, in general, be proud of yourself: you're living in another country, with all the changes and adaptations required, and you're trying to make it on your own. Give yourself time, reward yourself by doing what you like, and I'm sure you'll feel better soon.
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Old 03.08.2011, 17:02
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

While I agree on what everyone said and I do believe the homesickness you're feeling after just 1 month WILL go away, I don't believe you should force it if after a while it stays the same. I have been here for two years and still don't like it, so I'm leaving. Why stay if you're unhappy? But THAT should be a decision you take in a while, not just now. It is perfectly possible for someone not to like Switzerland
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Old 03.08.2011, 17:21
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

Well.....

Thank you to everyone who has replied. You have already made me feel a little better.

Some very good ideas too re: clubs and groups to join. I will see what suits me. Sometimes it all seems very formal at these groups.

One thing to note, I am learning German independently at the moment. I do not go to a formal school. I think I could do the basics myself and plus I am not working so financially I want to make school count. So hopefully attending classes once I grasp the basics myself.

Anyhow, thank you again for all your comments...really helpful.
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Old 03.08.2011, 17:54
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

I can totally relate to how you are feeling, darkhorsedrea. However, I am sure that, given a bit more time, you will start to feel a lot more settled.

I was dumped in deepest, darkest, northern Germany for six months when my (German) husband was posted there. Absolutely no-one spoke English up there and I felt incredibly isolated and, as billhardie mentioned above, I did start to resent my husband for taking me there and started taking it out on him

Luckily, we then went south to Switzerland. I say luckily as, even though there are many, many funny little ways and customs that one has to get used to, the quality of life (if you make the most of it) can be amazing. Take advantage of and enjoy the breathtaking scenery that surrounds you. Being somewhere very far removed from that at the moment, (though this place has its own charms), I often find myself yearning for clear, crisp air, wondrous mountains, pretty little towns and beautiful lakes.

You probably speak more German (or Swiss German) than me, which is not difficult. However, do try not to feel shy, embarrassed or intimated by your lack of the full grasp of the language. I often used to ask people if they spoke English ... more often than not they would reply 'a little', whereupon I used to tell them that their English was bound to be 100% better than my German, which usually broke the ice.

Good luck with your settling in
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Old 03.08.2011, 18:02
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

Can you try and get down the to the Viadukt tomorrow around 8-ish ? Directions here.
We can try and do something about your current predicament.

Hope you feel better.
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Old 03.08.2011, 18:10
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Re: Been here 1 month...already feeling homesick

I found that my comfort level dramatically increased here once I just "let go" and stopped feeling that I needed to speak perfect German and instead just spoke what I knew. I even tend to use German words but with English sentence structure, but it seems that people here usually understand what I'm trying to say. And thankfully, I've never encountered anyone who got upset with me for not being able to speak "good German."

I also met some really wonderful people in my German classes. In fact, those German classes pretty much served as my entire social life for the first year that I was here. And it was so comforting to know that I was certainly not alone in all that I was experiencing as a foreigner.

This forum certainly helps with that, too.
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